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Concerns for more healthy hashish use

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Elianna Lev January 3, 2020

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The new year is unofficially the best time to set goals and intentions for the coming year. That could mean going to the gym more often, eating less sugar, or quitting smoking. It could also be a starting point for considering healthier cannabis use habits. Here are a few things to consider:

Avoid burning

While smoking cannabis is the quickest way to feel its physical effects, it is also the most harmful. This is because it directly damages your lungs.

M-J Milloy is the first Canopy Growth Professor at the University of British Columnbia for cannabis science (a market-based position funded by the licensed producer of the same name). There are still many questions that need to be clarified regarding the negative effects of cannabis. However, one thing is certain: smoking, be it tobacco, shisha or cannabis, is not healthy.

"Inhaling burning plant material is never a good idea, be it from the cannabis plant or the tobacco plant," he says. The risk of smoking cannabis is estimated to be lower than the risk of smoking tobacco because cigarettes contain other chemicals. However, the Canadian Lower Risk Guidelines (CLRG), which have been developed by several health organizations and focus on non-medical cannabis use, recommend that other methods of use such as vapors, oils or food be used. While these methods are not risk-free, they do not damage the lungs.

If you smoke cannabis, the guidelines recommend that you do not inhale too deeply and do not hold the smoke in your lungs for too long. This increases the amount of toxins absorbed into the lungs and body and can lead to problems.

Consider Mental Health

Another CLRG recommendation is that people with a personal or family history of psychosis and / or substance abuse should avoid cannabis completely.

Andra Smith, professor at the University of Ottawa at the School of Psychology, says that dosage, potency, and ratio of CBD to THC are important factors to consider in the past with mental health problems. The highly effective cannabis available on the market can have a significant impact.

"With higher potency THC, there is a higher risk of anxiety and psychosis," she says. "If you are predisposed to any type of mental illness, it is really important that you pay attention to THC. The lower is better."

Milloy says that chronic cannabis use that is not intended to help with an illness is usually associated with greater harm, such as addiction. Cannabis use disorder syndrome, a clinical term used to describe harmful cannabis use, can be characterized by several factors: using more cannabis to achieve the same effect (and, in turn, developing significant tolerance); Consuming cannabis, even if it harms your family, your work, or your social life; unable to curb or prevent cannabis use, even if you choose to.

Fortunately, this type of disorder does not have as many physical consequences as other dependencies. "There isn't much physical dependency and withdrawal will not be as severe as someone trying to give up opioids," says Milloy.

However, if your cannabis use negatively affects other aspects of your life, it may be time to contact a psychologist.

Consider alternative therapies

Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and hypnotherapy may be useful for some who want to address problematic cannabis habits. There is no scientific evidence that these treatments are effective if they target cannabis habits, but some people find them helpful.

Darcy Carroll of Poke Community Acupuncture in Vancouver explains that acupuncture can be used effectively to address addiction problems as a whole. In their clinic, they apply a protocol that can help clear up about 70% of the food cravings while the patient is responsible for the rest of the work.

"Frequent treatments really help in the beginning," she says. “When someone withdraws, we really want to help until these symptoms go away. There are so many different addiction reasons that we try to meet every customer where they are. "

Jason Palter, a certified hypnotist at the Greater Toronto Hypnosis Center, says that his job is not to make people give up their habit, but to examine what makes them do it at all. Things like stress, a toxic family member, or living conditions can make people indulge in unhealthy habits, and this can include cannabis.

While Palter didn't treat anyone specifically for cannabis use, he says a client who came to him for erectile dysfunction also said he was a heavy weed smoker. After the joint sessions, the customer said that he had given up cannabis since he enjoyed the climax he experienced through hypnosis.
“The results vary, every customer is different and hypnosis is not the panacea. Says Palter. "But we're working on changing behavior, changing the pattern, and replacing it with something else that is more desirable."

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Elianna Lev is a writer who divides her time between Toronto and Vancouver.

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